Please excuse my ignorance. I am a newbie and have pulled my hair out for 2 days.

I am trying to set up a simple home network with an XP PC, and XP laptop and a Linux (FC4) fileserver.

For the life of me, I cannot get the XP machine to access samba shares on the server. All hardware is connected through a linksys router using DHCP. When I installed FC4, i left the hostname as default localhost.localdomain. Does this need to be changed? In my troubleshooting, I have read about host and resolve files but I thought all of this is handled dynamically by the operating systems, so the name of the individual computers is irrelevant.

I use Windows XP Pro on the non-linux boxes. For what its worth, I only have a single user on each XP system and do not require a password to login. Could this matter? I am trying to use user level security in the samba setup. The attempted shares show up under the WORKGROUP domain in the windows boxes so I know at least they are recognized. When I try to access the shares, it acts erratically. I get any of the following:
1. can't find path
2. do not have access to the requested resources
3. a duplicate username exists

All I want to do is have the Linux box make its shares available to the Windows PCs. All the HOWTOs I've read make it seem easy. Is there an easier way? (e.g. guest access or something different).

Here are the stats of the machines
PC1 OS: Windows XP name: todd IP: dynamic currently mask workgroup: WORKGROUP
PC2 OS: Windows XP name: john IP: dynamic currently mask workgroup: WORKGROUP
PC3 OS: Linux FC4 name: localhost IP: dynamic currently mask workgroup: WORKGROUP

FWIW, although I have the swat service installed and running, I also cannot seem to access it at on any of the XP machines. It will only work from localhost:901 on the Linux box. Could this be a related problem? All machines PING appropriately from one another telling me they are all at least connected.

I've read just about every HOWTO I could find on Samba and still can't get it working. Any help or guidance anyone could provide would be very, very welcome.